To my extent of knowledge (lmao), Hidamari is one of those under-the-radar Slice of Life shows, which is a disgrace because it really is a good show. The show stays on with the girls' ordinary lives at Hidamari Apartments plus Yamabuki High School. Chitchat, spending time with each other, going to school. This is pretty much what occurs throughout the series. You might contemplate, "Wow, that's uninteresting," but it's the characters traits that make each chapter fun to watch. But with a 4th season of a SoL show, you would consider there's at least round kind of plot to Hidamari Sketch, right? Nope.
But as far as plot drives, if you've been passionately viewing the series, the two eldest dormmates, Sae and Hiro, are in their last time at Yamabuki High, and the show boosts off with them getting ready for their senior class trip, parting Yuno and the others to take carefulness of themselves. It's actually the first episode unaided that unintentionally pushes the girls to become more mature, as you will finally see later in the show.
Taking place during Yuno and Miyako's second year of high school, Honeycomb is a wobbly continuation of the former season. Somewhat than jumping between past and present in a purely sporadic format, this is the first time where nearby is a tough and consistent progression in the story. Each episode openly follows the previous one; at first glance this may seem like a unimportant detail, but with those such as Sae and Hiro's approaching graduation, this becomes an increasingly relevant as there is now, time needed to effectively develop those characters.
Character development - something Hidamari Sketch Honeycomb has no lack of. The story is now more than a plain excerpt of the characters' daily lives and elegantly handles the underlying melodies of relationship and graduation. One episode, for instance, emphases on Hiro determining what she wants to do with her life after high school and if an art teacher is really the proper career choice for her. Another episode goes into detail with Sae's familial situation and her relationship with her younger sister, Chika. There's also a large focus on Yuno maturing and finally assuming her role of senior for her two underclassmen Nori and Nazuna, who in the development mature as well. None of this is enforced in and undermined by dramatization; it is skillfully and naturally borne through their regular communication with each other. As a result of this development, the upcoming graduation carries a lot more expressive weight than it otherwise would.
That's not to say that the same happy-go-lucky appeal is missing from this season, though. Adorability and funniness are helped abundantly and in healthier shape than ever. Each character plays off of the others in crafty ways and has their equal share of comedic scenes— even Yuno competes this time with Miyako on equivalent ground. The humor is not connected by archetypes and machines but through natural responses. Most characters arise out of their conventional role in this season as an outcome of their development, providing a much more persuasive dynamic than before. One of the best acts is a highlight of this; the girls playing a game of Life with their own custom-made squares, representing each character's goals as well as reactions to other possible life choices. Each of their unique quirks and personalities blend composed for highly amusing results, and this is certainly not the only example within the anime.
Seeing how much the series has improved since the first season, it's a little unfortunate that so few people decided to stick with it until Honeycomb. Hidamari Sketch is an anime that is overlooked for all the wrong reasons. Possibly the slow pace or the eccentric style didn't appeal to everybody, but as one of the best anime of the slice of life genre, it's in anybody's best interest to stick with it until the end. You will most certainly be rewarded.
And Hidamari Sketch x Honeycomb shows that Shaft is still a healthy studio and will continue creating great works. I look onward to their fresh shows after the ultimate retirement of Shinbo. But I still hope this gets a fifth season!